Noise, smoke, yelling. Your mind is running a thousand miles an hour. They have their water hoses spraying you down as you run toward the grinder.
One of the instructors yells for me to go and make myself a sugar cookie. Meaning to sprint to the ocean dive in, and roll in the sand till I'm 100% covered in sand.
Then another yells at me, questioning as to why I'm running to the ocean, accusing me of trying to get away from the group, and on top of that, he asks me where my swim buddy was.
One of the worst things you can do at BUD/S is lose track of your swim buddy, he had me drop and give him 30, all the while spraying me with ice cold water.
I finish my push ups, and start to run towards the grinder.
The 1st instructor, who had ordered me to bring him a sugar cookie, grabs my collar, "why arent you covered in sand boy?!"
It hasn't been 10 minutes and all that motivation I had built up was completely gone. And this is why less than 30% of people make it though this training.
The realization that no matter what you do, you WILL be beaten. This is when you need a strong mind to keep you going.
Physically, everyone here is capable of doing the training, but mentally, it takes one fucked up individual to get through it. For the next hour, they had us doing pull ups, push ups, flutter kicks, and diving into an inflatable boat filled with ice water.
Making us get wet and sandy, almost 20 people DORd that 1st hour. Then we were made to carry our inflatable boat on our heads, then run a mile to the chow hall.
The whole class is broken down to boat teams. I was on boat team 3. There are 7 guys in each boat team. 3 of our team had DORd. Including my swim buddy. He had almost immediately DORd those first 10 minutes.
Before we started, the instructors had to re assign boat teams. Running with those boats on your head, after being beaten on the grinder. Is very painfull.
Especially, that sandy boat bottom rubbing the top of your head. I shave my head bold because of my training at BUD/S. That boat runs a bold spot on pretty much all of our heads
Eating breakfast, everyone is Jack hammering (uncontrollable shakes from being so cold) barely able to hold their forks it's so bad.
The next 2 days, are filled with so much pain and suffering I cant even describe it. Your mind is constantly telling you, that you've had enough but you just keep going. Your mind goes into over drive.
By Wednesday, your pretty much running on auto pilot. The instructors were wrong though, we didnt lose half the class. We lost over half the class.
They gave us a 4 hour nap on Wednesday afternoon, but I refused to sleep. I knew that if I laid my head down, I'd never get going again.
So I did little stretches just to keep my blood flowing and tried to enjoy no one fucking with me.
After the 4 hours were up, they come in with the bull horn and 2 guys DORd right there, and I knew I would have been one of them if I had slept.
They put us in the water, for surf torture, all recruits link arms and face towards the beach, in ankle high water, then lay flat on our backs so we cant time when the waves are coming. All while singing a song the instructor's want to hear. It's one of the things that make most mean quit. We had 2 others DOR here.
We got beat some more. Run some more, eat. Made us play leap frog, by Thursday you've lost all concept of time and pain. Nothing they could do to us would make any of us quit at this point.
And I believe they knew that. Friday night, we got our inflatable boats and had to do an evolution called "Around the World" where we basically paddle with our boat team around the whole island.
Everyone is hallucinating, one of our teammates jumped in the water thinking one of us was a monster, we had to pull him back in. I thought the sky was on fire, when really it was just the street lights from shore. we take turns taking short naps, then when we finally are coming to the end. The sun was up, we see all the instructors standing on the beach.
We all come in, line up, and we hear, "Hell week is secured boys" I calasps in the sand like a man who's been shipwrecked, and begin to sob.
My mind is no longer processing information the same, from the lack of sleep and the constant torment, but I fuckin made it. I had never felt more proud in my life.
But this was only the first speed bump in a LONG road to becoming a UDT diver. Going through this type of training changes a man, even if they dont graduate. Something in you is different. You now know that anything is possible if you keep pushing.
We where taken to medical to be cleared, all of us where rubbed raw from head to toe from all the sand, some where medically unfit to continue training, others were rolled out of our class. Meaning they'd pick back up with the next class when they were healthy
We had Saturday and sunday to rest up, then the next week, we had a "Light week" but still very painful. Some guys even feel into a state of depression.
Either way, I made it and I'm ready for 2nd phase. Dive phase, where we will become true frog men
To be continued..